Long-term Functional and Oncologic Outcomes of Partial Adrenalectomy for Pheochromocytoma

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Journal Article

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© 2020 Objective: To evaluate the recurrence and functional outcomes in a primarily hereditary cohort of patients undergoing partial adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma. Methods: A retrospective review from a prospectively managed database of patients undergoing partial adrenalectomy from 1995 to 2018 at the National Cancer Institute was performed. Local recurrence was defined as imaging evidence of a recurrent or de novo lesion on the operative side. Steroid dependency was defined as requiring daily steroid replacement at time of last follow-up. Results: One hundred and twenty-four partial adrenalectomies, removing 162 tumors, were performed in 107 patients. Most patients had a known hereditary predisposition to develop bilateral, multifocal, and recurrent pheochromocytoma. Median tumor size was 2 cm (interquartile range (IQR) 1.5-2.8). Median follow-up was 60 months (IQR 13-131). Local recurrence occurred in 17 patients (15.8%) and were managed with active surveillance or surgery. A single patient (1/106, 0.9%) developed metastatic spread of pheochromocytoma approximately 14 years after his first of 2 partial adrenalectomies and remains alive under active surveillance. Median time to recurrence was 71 months (IQR 26-127) with 10 patients (9.3%) requiring daily steroid replacement at time of last follow-up. Conclusion: Partial adrenalectomy offers excellent oncologic and functional outcomes, sparing most patients from lifelong steroid replacement therapy. Recurrences can be easily managed with repeat surgery or active surveillance via functional work-up and imaging. Partial adrenalectomy remains the recommended surgical management for patients pre-disposed to development of bilateral, multifocal and recurrent pheochromocytoma.

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